Wisconsin utilities move ahead with clean energy plans

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:Wisconsin’s two largest public utilities are making bigger stakes in renewable energy and have pledged far deeper cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases than previous predictions.Madison-based Alliant Energy says it intends to stop burning carbon-intensive coal altogether in its electric power plants by 2050. Alliant and Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group recently said they are setting new goals to reduce carbon emissions by 80% from 2005 levels by 2050.That’s a shift from 2016 pronouncements when the utilities envisioned carbon dioxide reductions of 40% by 2030. (WEC Energy Group, which operates We Energies, says it now expects to reach the 40% goal by about 2023.)The moves to renewables are driven by tumbling prices for wind and solar power at the same time power companies in Wisconsin and nationally are using more natural gas as an alternative to coal.“We’re glad to see that the utilities are recognizing that this is what people want,” said Elizabeth Katt-Reinders of the Wisconsin chapter of the Sierra Club. “But actually it’s very underwhelming. We need to move off coal completely —and sooner.”Still, the actions of the companies are an about-face from a decade ago when Alliant was seeking regulatory approval to build a new coal plant in Wisconsin. The state Public Service Commission in 2008 rejected the plan with one commissioner then calling it the “wrong project at the wrong time.”More: Two Wisconsin utilities are increasing solar and wind power as they dramatically cut coal use to combat climate change Wisconsin utilities move ahead with clean energy planslast_img

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